“ Excercise Bikes „
Now I do tend to get a little annoyed when it comes to exercise equipment and how expensive it is for home use. Unfortunately the York C201 fits into that bracket, needlessly expensive to achieve the same results as much cheaper bikes.
Here is the reason for my annoyance:
Cycling is specifically designed to work out the lower half of the body. In particular the focus is on the quadricep muscles (Thigh's), the hamstrings, the calf muscles and the gluteals (your bottom)
Cycling is also one of the best forms of a cardiovascular endurance exercises (heart and lungs), whilst still being a low impact exercise (I.e your joints are not getting effected with high impacts like running). This makes cycling a perfect exercise for any lower body toning/strength training, as well as being perfect for fat burning and increasing endurance/stamina. Because of the low impact nature of the exercise, it is suitable for all ages and sizes.
Now the physiological effects of cycling will not be changed by buying a more expensive exercise bike. Physiological change is determined by how hard you are prepaired to work as an individual. All more expensive exercise bikes do is provide you with a smoother, more comfortable ride and maybe more inbuilt programmes to work too. Now I'm not saying that these are not important variables, my point is that these can be found in bikes that are half the price of the York C201.
York C201 FEATURES
16 levels of computer controlled magnetic resistance
Hand grip pulse sensor
17 user programmes (12 preset, 3 HRC, 1 manual, 1 user)
Multiview large LCD console
Flywheel weight: 4kg
Self-levelling pedals, pedal straps
Maximum user weight: 125kg
Dimensions: 97 x 141 x 55 (DxHxW in cm)
Product weight: 30.4kg
Large padded seat with height and reach adjustment
Reading rack and towel holder
Recovery fitness test
Ok, here's my opinion on the key things to look for when buying an exercise bike.
Firstly, it is important that the bike is controlled by magnetic resistance. This basically means that the flywheel's resistance (i.e the wheel your legs are turning) is controlled by electro magnets. Now the reason this is important is on older exercise bikes, the flywheels resitance used to be controlled by a chord wrapped around the wheel itself. These had two major floors, firstly it made for an incredibly uncomfortable ride (it jolted alot and was not smooth) and secondly they used to wear out after 6 months of use). Electro magnetic bikes are smooth and the resistance is equal at all times.
Secondly its important that the bike is comfortable to sit on and is adjustable to your body shape. For instance, movable seat/handlebars etc. This is impertitive because poor form on a bike WILL cause back problems. The bike must be adjustable!!!!
Thats it!!!!! These are the two most important features of a bike. Everything else are just expensive add ons. That is to say, this bike comes with 20 different programmes to work out to, the reality is you will only use 3/4 that are applicable to you and personally I prefer to control the machine manually anyway and set my own levels of resistance - mainly because some days I feel great, others I just want an easy cycle. They are not necessary and cheaper bikes will come with 6/8 programmes which are suitable.
The heart rate monitor that is built into the handles is interesting feature but rarely utilised by home users of bikes. What I mean by this is the main use of a heart rate monitor is to achieve something called heart rate training (when you want to work within certain heart rate ranges to maximise performance). In reality not many people know how to use this training method, and those that do I guarantee would use a polar heart rate watch as it gives a lot more functionality. This really is a gimmick on bikes....It has its uses but is not imperitive.
Now for some people, they like all these add on's and if your one of those people then fantastic, this bike covers all bases. Its a comfortable bike, with a nice smooth action. There are lots of programmes and gimmicks to keep you interested, I particulary like the reading rack!
However for the £200 asking price, I think its a bit steep.
The problem is YORK are perhaps trading off of the quality of their brand. If your prepaired to look away from the big brands for a second, this is what you can get for £115.
MARCY DS 417 Magnetic Cycle
Smooth Ultra Quiet Action
8 Varying Levels Of Magnetic Resistance
7kg Aluminium Flywheel
Self Levelling Pedals With Toe Straps
Large LCD Display Monitors Distance, Speed, Time, Calories And Pulse
Height Width Depth
129cm 52cm 85cm
Ok so this bike does not have the same number of programmes built in to it, but its £85 cheaper and from a physiological point of view will do exactley the same job in the same level of comfort!!!!
In conclusion, this is not a damning review of the york C201, it is a fantastic home exercise bike. It offers comfort and functionality and I guess can still be considered good value at £200. However, I do feel that people are seduced into the gimmicks that bikes like this posses. There are cheaper options that WILL get you the same results. After all, to my knowledge, were still the ones pedalling the thing to try and get fit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Having said that, I would still recommend the bike as it is great, but I just feel there are maybe a few other options to consider first.
£200 generally (Argos/York) however in the current financial climate I have seen lots of deals flying about online. Cheapest I have seen was on Fitness supermarket for £189
I hope that helps!
The York C201 has 21 varied workout programs and the accurate computer controlled magnetic resistance will keep you going through the most vigorous of workouts. Heart Rate Controlled programs add an extra dimension by allowing you to effectively exercise to your bodys needs and the large padded seat is both height and reach adjustable.